Dr. Manny Recommends: Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals by Dr. Peter Pronovost

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We know hospital visits save lives, but could they also be responsible for ending them?

Hospital-acquired infections affect 1 in ten patients and kill 90,000 in the U.S. alone, Dr. Peter Pronovost reports in his book Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor’s Checklist Can Help Us Change Health Care from the Inside Out

In the book, Pronovost and his co-author Eric Vohr outline and describe a number of smart techniques and checklists that the health care system can (and should) utilize in order to prevent simple mistakes that can lead to serious consequences.

Some of the advice may seem trite – like making sure to check a patient’s name – but Pronovost and Vohr correctly point out that things that should be second nature can sometimes get lost in the hustle and bustle of the job.  After all, the average ICU patient undergoes 100 procedures every day – that’s a lot of opportunities for mishaps, communication lapses and infection.

Really, I shouldn’t have to recommend this book.  Pronovost’s work speaks for itself.  When implemented in Michigan, his checklist save 1,500 lives, $75 million dollars, and lowered catheter infection rates by 66 percent.  His reforms are now being enacted nationwide.

Pronovost has made his case, and I’m certainly listening.  You should too.